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Jul 26, 2022Liked by Chris La Tray

The pope is in my city right now.

One of my best friends is loosely christian and texted me one day about the church's apologies to indigenous peoples and how it should make us hopeful but - being the killjoy that I am - I had to explain to her that its merely just another corporation's plaintive PR-ing (in a way that looks good but accomplishes nothing) so as to not to lose the "faith" of the multitudes filling their coffers and keeping their organization and its evils alive in the world. If the catholic church wanted to make things right they would pay taxes, turn church space into shelter space, and instead of asking for money, accept nothing less than mutual aid and genuine care for the most struggling among us from its parishioners.

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You are right. People say, "Well it's a start." When you are the wealthiest institution on earth, the starting place is a bit higher of a bar, I think. This is a PR stunt and there is nothing hopeful about it. It's sickening to me.

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I think they (Catholics/the Pope) actually believe it is something, though.

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That's a huge part of their problem: they don't get to decide what this something is.

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Jul 26, 2022Liked by Chris La Tray

As a newly minted (again) second class citizen fighting my way back from a time a woman could not have a credit card in her name without a husbands signature I share your concerns about the zombie class of citizens the algorithms of the tech folks have rendered people. And despair over our inability to realize the gift of vaccines in this nation is equally staggering as I have struggled to protect an immunocompromised family member and realize we have become (or the majority of people have been) members of a country that is unserious in our concern for others. So I look for the small things like a hand written thank you note from a granddaughter, a phone call from an old friend and another day without Covid. I enjoy your writing and feel the despair myself at times and just get up each day and put my mask on and face the world I do not recognize.

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Thank you. I'm well behind in my analog correspondence. Thank you for reminding me that other folks enjoy receiving it from people too. I know I love it....

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This line made me really happy in a cathartic way I needed today: "I do know this bleeding edge, subsidized-by-us-miserable-rabble technology makes despicable human offal like Elon Musk even more wealthy, as well as that cascading shitpile of obsequious brotastic ilk who prop him up." All of this--yes. I cringe to think of how much longer we will be able to see the moon unencumbered by corporate logos or whatever godawful plans that the bro culture will come up with in the future. Some things need to remain sacred and respected, not looked at as another place to destroy. ugh.

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Too many have lost any sense of the sacred, and it shows.

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"We aren’t going to self care, stream an endless parade of television shows, and brunch our way into a better future, even if we are kind to everyone around us." Yes.

If you really want to get bummed out about the satellites, look at the sky through the Night Sky app or similar. Or don't, actually. It was so cool to use when my kids were first doing remote learning, but didn't take long to see how many Starlink satellites are overhead. It sucks while also providing internet to many rural places.

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I'm on team "Less Internet, Not More!" for the most part.

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Burn it all down (except let me watch Star Trek).

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Jul 27, 2022·edited Jul 27, 2022Liked by Chris La Tray

Also let me acknowledge how iterations of that exact sentiment are the problem. “Let’s get affordable housing but not at the expense of my property values”; “Let’s cope with climate change but not if I have to stop driving”; “Let’s lower resource demand but in ways that ensure I still have an iPad.”

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NIMBY bastards.

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Jul 27, 2022Liked by Chris La Tray

We could duke it out to see who's crankier, but I'll just cede that honor to you. (You are wise in your words. I'm just petty because my feet hurt all the time.) Thank you for another reading about wising up to what really matters.

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My feet hurt too!

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When I feel like this, which is often, I try to recall Ursula K. Le Guin: "We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words."

Then I remember how long we suffered under the divine right of kings...

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I love that quote. I have a t-shirt with it on it. But you're right ... it's the long game, as it has always been. The problem is we are hurtling toward an imminent climate precipice in ways we never have before. It is cause to worry, heh....

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I need that shirt! And well yeah, the world as we know it is doomed. But that can be a future of technofeudalism, or an anarchic "utopia" if one can call a climate catastrophe that. Either way it involves a lot of suffering, which I would rather avoid, as despite my leanings towards misanthropy, I am not one of those eco-fascists who want lots of humans to die because of what rich people did.

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I have their magnet with the same design and quote stuck to my coffee maker :)

(Our fridge isn't magnetic.)

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Jul 26, 2022Liked by Chris La Tray

Hi Chris,

Well, it is alarming to think about all that junk that is whirling around us up there. I previously lived in a location that was free of light pollution and the sky was simply magical. I marveled at the heavens and the shooting stars. At this point I prefer to cling to my memories of those enchanting moments. As with so much of life there is good and there is bad. If each of us endeavored to understand the plights of others and did our best be kind and to reduce the suffering of those in our orbit, I hope that we would be making progress, in a good way.

And the photo of the horses was lovely. Such extraordinary creatures.

Sincerely,

Melissa

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Thank you, I love horses. I'm fortunate to live near a number of them and seeing them always brings me a jolt of happiness.

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Jul 27, 2022·edited Jul 27, 2022Liked by Chris La Tray

There is more truth in this one piece than the whole shitshow of mainstream 'news' that I followed since the pandemic took off. Just so people don't say that we are making things up, there are documented records of Bill gates rejecting the vaccine patent to India when the Delta variant was wreaking havoc here. Millions of people died, India was the worst hit country when Delta was prevalent. I personally know people who died because they couldn't get vaccines on time.

Chris you are right, everything we try to do in face of such titanic evil, seems futile. But we do it anyway because if we don't, I guess we will be at the edge of breaking into homicidal rage.

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Yes, we do it anyway. We must, right? And honestly I don't really mind the doing. It's the other stuff that makes me crazy.

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Absolutely, I relate Chris.

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On Monday, June 18, the secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, warned world leaders gathered at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, where they are gathered to advance multilateral climate negotiations: “Half of humanity is in the danger zone from floods, droughts, extreme storms and wildfires. No nation is immune. Yet we continue to feed our fossil fuel addiction…. What troubles me most is that, in facing this global crisis, we are failing to work together as a multilateral community. Nations continue to play the blame game instead of taking responsibility for our collective future. We cannot continue this way,” he said. “We have a choice: collective action or collective suicide. It is in our hands.”

A few days later in the NYT, one reader said there is really not much we can do in the short term to mitigate global warming. He suggested that we all just kick back and watch the planet burn. My take on this problem always begins with overpopulation. When I was in high school (1962-1965), the human population on Earth was 3 billion. Now it is almost 8 billion. I picture the pile of shit made daily by 3 billion humans, and the pile of shit made daily by 8 billion humans. Then I picture the amount of urine in both cases. Then I picture the pile of trash. It is harder to picture the amount of carbon dioxide that each human is responsible for every day, let alone every year of our lives.

Here in Seattle in 2020, during the first year of Covid, I noticed how, with people working from home and kids not going to school, that the world in the Northwest slowed, quieted and the air cleared. And I said to myself... well, it looks like humans can indeed change their daily patterns and live with less of a carbon footprint. Of course, people eventually flipped out, and after most of us were vaccinated, we all went back to the traffic jam on I-5 and crowded airports and road rage.

I look at the entirety of my 75 years and I am so glad that, for six years, I did "drop out," exit the rat race, step away from the capitalist American Imperative. The six years in the 12x12 cabin on the Blackfoot River taught me a bit of what Angela Garbes is talking about. It taught me that minimalism is a worthy exercise. It's not for everybody, I know... but it's doable, in increments... slow it all down. Discover the divine challenge of the three-day juice fast, the divine gift of utter silence, and maybe even the divinely magic the moment the chickadee lands on your fingertips and takes a sunflower from your palm.

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Thanks, Greg.

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If we are putting OT killings on the menu, I gotta put forward the bear that Elijah (or Elisha or whomeverthefuck) called out to eat a bunch of street youths that had the temerity to call him "bald." I think that reaction probably pushed through the line of "toxic masculinity" and on to "okay that's kind of badass though."

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Look, if I could Tarzan-yell up a crew of predators to go out on a selective killing spree with me, don't think I wouldn't. But I can't even get my dogs to acknowledge me.

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A bear mauling might be too good for that soft-handed rich boy anyways.

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Jul 28, 2022Liked by Chris La Tray

Your footnotes alone are always worth the price of admission. Also, these posts never fail to make me feel less alone and/or cause some kind of shift in my brain, and I thank you for that.

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Jul 27, 2022·edited Jul 27, 2022Liked by Chris La Tray

I appreciate your readers' shared wisdom as much as your own. I'm a white middle class lady of middle years just about perfect for the "Karen" designation (I've even got blonde highlights). I'm still a struggling writer in an invisible category (women had a tough time breaking into the news biz when I was breaking in, and the older I get, the younger people seem to want them.) I'm at the nexus of another career--either deeply dedicate to art and forget about a secure future, or put art (poetry) aside and get a "real job." There's no money in poetry but neither is there poetry in money. What can be done? What can I do *personally*? Still figuring it out, often tempted by lucre, aspiration, and the dark side--trying to find my lodestar. And still keep the roof and the larder full. And still care deeply about others. It's scary to look ahead and see what a planet my daughters will curate, and any future offspring (3 out of 4 won't have any, one will) thereafter. Sigh. Self-caring so I can go out and take a stand again the next day. Writing my way to the recipe so I can hear myself think.

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The reader input is really what makes all this worth doing. Thanks for yours, Julia.

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Camping at Red Rock Lakes Nat'l Wildlife Refuge tucked into my hammock about midnight, enjoying the stars and saw the same thing: What the heck? Is anyone else seeing this? Looked like "the Polar Express" flying across the sky. Only this was May, not December. The next day I met and visited with George Bumann - a fine human being. He let me know all about Starlink. Part of me understands that rural people are now able to get internet which must feel pretty darn good. But mostly I am deeply sad about the loss of our night sky - something that sustains me and has for generations upon generations.

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I have never been to Red Rock Lakes and now I must go there.

I really need to think about this "internet for rural people" argument. It feels like something being forced on people and I don't like it. By that I mean how so much is being driven online. If it was a nationalized service it would be one thing, but it's hard (and expensive) to keep up with all this technology, and it is easy to feel left behind by it. I certainly do, and I'm relatively savvy. Let's just say I carry a LOT of side-eye for it.

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Jul 26, 2022Liked by Chris La Tray

"To me they aren’t a sign of the “progress” we tend to worship, but decline and deterioration." So much YES!

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✊🏽

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“Mostly it feels like spritzing water from a mostly-empty spray bottle onto a burning barn, doesn’t it? Even just wearing a mask in public feels like that anymore.” Exactly how I feel tonight.

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Your thought "spritzing water from a mostly-empty spray bottle onto a burning barn" is too often the way I feel, but keep telling myself that when enough of us spritz together, it turns into a stream, and then a gush, and then....

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